"... When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table ..."
~ T.S. Eliot, 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'
Last week, on a quintessential summer afternoon, we set out on a picture-taking long ride. As the mocking, piercing late-afternoon sun gradually began melting into a warm, golden twilight, things took a mellow turn. That is when Eliot's timeless poem struck me, when the sprawling, bougainvillea-laced roadside, draped with the pinkish-gold sheen took our breath away. We have always admired this green, wooded patch of about ten kilometres, a road that leads to my alma mater, the University of Hyderabad, but come summer and it turns into a different world altogether. Therefore, only passing by it and admiring nature's patchwork isn't enough; one has to capture their kaleidoscopic glory, the gorgeous pink-and-yellow embroidery of the bougainvilleas and the laburnums. A fine summer bouquet, I call it. Who would believe there's this huge concrete, IT jungle that lies coughing and panting right next to it!
The other bouquets, and none too pleasing as the above, that are looming large in our days is the hullabaloo of an upcoming move to a new city in June. This May marks the exact two years since we wrapped up our lives in Seattle for a much-debated return to the home country and now it's time to move again, to go through that uncomfortable process of leaving the old and adopting the new. And this time, unlike Hyderabad, it's an entirely new city. There's a world out there that doesn't know me and whom I don't know. Despite its claims of being the best city to settle in India for nomadic hearts like us, if you have been reading me for a while you probably know how and to what extent change bothers me. I am a creature of habit. To the core. But hopefully, with friends who go back a long way and with scenic getaways within hours' drives from the city, this time it'll be different. Hopefully, this time I'll be less complaining and more appreciative of my surroundings. Hopefully, this time I'll have a tree by my window and can watch the sky puff and roar when it rains. Hopefully.